Fearfully Wonderfully Me

Growing in God and Inspiring Young Women Through Faith and Fashion

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Why Prayer is Not a Waste of Time

On what should’ve been a quiet, peaceful Sunday morning, our nation was rattled by the tragic news of a shooting at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. Over two dozen are dead and many have been injured.

In the face of such tragedy, many of us rally together in prayer and peaceful vigils. However, some people on social media are saying that prayers are useless. They don’t do anything to help, and therefore, a waste of time.

As a Christian who believes deeply in the power of prayer, these statements really made me pause to think. If you’re on the fence about prayer, or are just worn down by all of the tragedies in our nation, then this post is for you.

A New Perspective

There are things in this world we just don’t understand. We live in a world where bad things happen and injustice seems to be the norm.

So where’s God in all of this? Why isn’t He answering our prayers?

 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 NIV)

You see, Jesus never promised His followers an easy life with no problems or disasters. On the contrary, there is a target on every Christian’s back solely based on their devotion to God.

Our perspective on life is wrong. We are only human beings restricted by the confines of time and space. God sees the whole picture–from beginning to end–and He has promised us a victorious ending (Revelation 21).

Sin is the root cause of the evil in this world, and it is the reason people are filled with anger, hatred, and violence. This is more than just a political or cultural issue–it’s a spiritual one.

The only cure for sin is Jesus, and our pursuit should be the freedom of His saving grace.

Prayer in Action

People want action in times of crisis. We want a sense of control in turbulent times. However, one must not discount the power and motivation of prayer. Prayer is an action of love and faith.

If we pray for those in need, we are uniting with them both mentally and spiritually. We are sacrificing time and energy to focus our hearts on our neighbors.

That’s action.

But the Bible tells us not to stop at prayer. Rather, we should carry our faith into loving deeds in the physical realm as well.

You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. (James 2:22 NIV)

When we pray for others, we take the center of our hearts off of ourselves. This acts as a catalyst for real change in both our lives and the lives of those around us.

I know of Christians who send their prayers on social media, but many of these saints also give money and sacrifice time to help disaster relief organizations.

When we pray, God transforms our hearts into vessels of compassion and action.

Prayer in compassion and action

A Spiritual Battle

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (Ephesians 6:12 NIV)

The visible world around us if often distracting and terrifying. However, it is only temporary. Our true battle isn’t with social or political issues (although they shouldn’t be ignored).

There is a spiritual war being waged against God’s sons and daughters right now. The devil knows that Jesus has won, and that He is coming to reign on earth soon (Matthew 24). This is causing the enemy to attack God’s children like never before, in the hopes of preventing one more soul from being saved.

Remember, we don’t have the whole perspective. We can’t see into eternity or into the battles that are taking place in the heavenly realms. I don’t have all the answers for life’s tragedies, but I do know this:

God sees our struggles and He hears our prayers. Jesus loves us, and can turn any situation–no matter how tragic–into a message of redemption and salvation. 

Don’t stop praying, lovely one. It could be the very action that saves someone’s soul.

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. (James 5:16 NIV)

Thanks for reading! Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below 🙂

Connect with me on Instagram @fearfullywonderfullyme

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The Problem with Perfectionism

I was eating lunch with my mom on a beautiful Saturday afternoon when I broke down. The pressures had been building up all week–school, friends, family, writing. Even everyday things or my own thoughts made me feel like I was about to crack.

No matter what, I couldn’t shake the thought out of my head that I wasn’t good enough. I wasn’t talented, smart, or pretty enough. I place so many unrealistic expectations on myself that I would never put on anyone else. It’s what fueled my struggle with an eating disorder when I was younger.

But I know I’m not alone in this struggle, lovely one. The problem is perfectionism and it needs to be unraveled and seen for what it truly is–the need for something greater than ourselves.

The Lie of Perfectionism  

I have yet to meet a perfect person. I’ve met people who seem perfect or who share doctored up photos of a perfect life on social media (I’m guilty of it too).

But when you actually get to know someone and break through their mask, you see that this person is a human being–filled with struggles, sin, fears, and hurt.

During Biblical times, there were groups of people called Pharisees who kept up the appearance of perfection with a bunch of rules and regulations. Meanwhile, they were shaming everyone around them while letting sin reign in their hearts. Jesus called them out on this.

‘ “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.’ (Matthew 23:27-28 NIV)

If Jesus were walking in the flesh today, He would see a lot of Christians who look like these “whitewashed” tombs. We can pretend to be perfect to others. Maybe we can even fool ourselves into thinking we have our lives together. But God sees us for who we really are. We can’t hide from Him.

Perfectionism vs. Authenticity

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:8-9 NIV)

God doesn’t want a “perfect looking” son or daughter. He wants our real, authentic selves. The Bible reminds us that none of us are without sin–no matter how much good we do. No one is perfect.

Repentance is all about bringing your authentic self to God–humbly and sincerely. It’s about letting go of our sin and shame, because it was already destroyed when Jesus died on the cross.

If we could be perfect on our own, then we wouldn’t need a savior. We need to stop striving and accept the free gift that Christ paid the price to give us.

Perfect Grace 

The most dangerous thing about perfectionism is that it keeps us focused on ourselves for too long. When you live your life for Jesus, it’s not about you anymore. It’s about His glory.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. (2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV)

Even the great apostle Paul wasn’t perfect. He dealt with issues just like the rest of us. But instead of punishing himself for not being good enough, he turned to the only one who is good enough.

Jesus is God, and He is also the only perfect person to walk the earth (John 1:14). When we surrender our weaknesses to Him, we give Him the proper place in our lives as Lord and Savior.

This is called grace. 

Perfectionism-Jesus is enough

Christ is not glorified in our self-righteousness or worldly success. It is only when we are broken and weak that people can truly see the Savior work in us.

I’ll admit that surrendering to grace is still a struggle for me. It was on that lunch date with my mom that I finally came to the end of myself.

I realized something so important, that in fact, it’s the basis of salvation. I am not good enough. But Jesus is more than good enough, and He will always be enough for me.

Thanks for reading! Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below 🙂

Connect with me on Instagram @fearfullywonderfullyme

**I’m on Twitter!** Follow me @Emily_Susanne1

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How to Find Healing In a Sick World

Yesterday was one of the those days where I just couldn’t win. No matter what I did, I could barely get out of bed. Walking was difficult and concentrating took all of the energy I had. My body refused to cooperate with my mind, but I still pressed on.

This is my life with POTS right now. I say “right now” because I believe God’s healing power is at work in me. But I can’t deny the reality that although my body is healthy, it doesn’t work the way it should.

Isn’t it strange how when you’re sick, the feeling leaks into all areas of your life? Work and school become difficult. Your mood tanks, and you stop feeling like yourself.

Unfortunately, there is an illness affecting all people around the world that can hurt our lives far more than any physical ailment.

The Sickness

The crown has fallen from our head; woe to us, for we have sinned! For this our heart has become sick, for these things our eyes have grown dim, (Lamentations 5:16-17 ESV

Sin. It’s the word no one wants to talk about–except for the sweaty preachers yelling about it from the pulpit. But when you really stop and think about it, sin is the cause of the major ills of society.

Wars, mass shootings, racism, dishonest companies–and more. We all see it in the news. It’s obvious we, as human beings, have a problem.

We’ve become so consumed by greed, lust, and hatred, that we don’t even see the wickedness taking root in our hearts.

The Cure

I know I just painted a gloomy picture in your mind, but there is hope in the midst of all this pain. There is a cure for sin, and His name is Jesus.

If we call on the name of Jesus, the Son of God, and honestly turn our hearts away from sin, we will be forgiven and restored!

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9 NIV)

God takes us in His loving arms and places us on the right path again. He helps us see our sickness and restores us to spiritual health.

Sometimes we get so lost in our sin that we can’t even remember what it feels like to be healthy and alive spiritually. But there is healing in Christ, and all we have to do is ask for it and believe.

The Healing 

Although God frees us from sin and condemnation with His grace, we’re not perfect in this life and we still live in a world scarred by sin. Even though as a believer we are made new, we still suffer from temptations, mental health issues, and physical pain and sickness.

How do we experience healing when we live in a spiritually sick world?

When I was at church last Sunday, I found myself unable to stand during worship. The dizziness was pulling me down and I felt too weak to fight it. I’m only 23 years old, and I could have easily let this make me feel bitter and depressed (and I’ll admit that sometimes it does).

But while we were singing about victory in Christ, I couldn’t help but smile as God whispered these words into my heart.

Praise brings healing

I can still praise from here. 

When depression, anxiety, bad news, or sin makes you feel trapped, remember that nothing can rob you of your praise! The devil wants to take you to your knees and make you believe that you have lost.

But you haven’t lost, lovely one. You can still praise. No matter where you’re at–whether on top of a mountain or crumpled on the floor–you can still pour out your heart to God.

The key to healing spiritually is not found in your own strength. It can only be revealed when you pour out your praise, and in return, let the love of Jesus fill your heart.

But I will hope continually, And will praise You yet more and more. (Psalm 71:14 NKJV)

Thanks for reading! Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below 🙂

I also want to give a shout out to Owen Wolf for giving me the inspiration to write this post. You are so encouraging!

Connect with me on Instagram @fearfullywonderfullyme

**I’m on Twitter!** Follow me @Emily_Susanne1

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The Truth About Shame

I have a confession to make. I am twenty-three years old, and am just learning how to drive. It’s a huge victory in my battle with a chronic illness that prevented me from driving. But it’s also a struggle.

Learning to drive isn’t easy–at least not for me (and not for the poor souls who help me practice). And to be honest, it makes me anxious. Though I am getting better with every lesson, I still feel a terrible, self-defeating feeling that shrouds me in darkness.

I’m talking about shame.

The Poison of Shame

Merriam-Webster defines shame as “a painful emotion caused by consciousness of guilt, shortcoming, or impropriety.” This feeling, lovely reader, is the weapon the devil uses to try and condemn us.

It’s normal and healthy to feel guilty when one does something wrong.  Guilt can lead us to repentance, which then sets us free. It’s also normal to feel insecure, which again, can also be freeing when we learn to seek our worth in Christ.

But what about that feeling of condemnation, no matter how many times you repent? What about that feeling of not being good enough, no matter how hard you try?

When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. (Colossians 2:13-14 NIV)

Shame is a poison that seeps into our lives even when we are born again in Christ. We have to remember that we are dead to sin, and that Christ nailed all condemnation to the cross. It’s not our sin that makes us feel condemned, but the shame that the enemy uses to make us believe we are separated from God.

The Power of the Cross

…fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2 NIV)

As a Christian, I have heard the story of the cross countless times. But what really makes me understand Christ’s sacrifice is watching a movie or reenactment of the crucifixion. Then I can clearly see the shame Jesus bore while he was mocked, stripped, and beaten–all alone.

And guess what? He did it for me, and He did it for you! Our God chose to take on human form in order to understand the temptations we face and the struggles we battle. Though Jesus knew no sin, He did know our shame. And He took it upon Himself in order to free us and bring us eternal joy.

Freedom from Shame

‘“Do not be afraid; you will not be put to shame. Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated. You will forget the shame of your youth and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood.’ (Isaiah 54:4 NIV)

We all make mistakes. We all have our weaknesses and failures.  And we all sin–no matter how hard we try not to. It’s part of the human condition. The good news is that we can always run to Jesus for forgiveness and freedom.

shame is a lie

I know that I’m not perfect, and that learning to drive, like all things, takes patience. Although at times I may fail, I know that God always brings good out of the bad.

Jesus is the fresh start from our past mistakes. He is our joy and strength, despite our human weakness. Jesus is our freedom from sin and the shame that binds us. 

The truth about shame is that it’s a lie. A lie meant to steal, kill, and destroy God’s precious children. But we have access to the only antidote on earth–the powerful and freeing truth of the love of Jesus.


Thanks for reading! Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below 🙂

Connect with me on Instagram @fearfullywonderfullyme

**I’m on Twitter!** Follow me @Emily_Susanne1

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What Makes a Woman Beautiful?

Beauty. It’s absolutely everywhere in our culture, isn’t it? We idolize beautiful women, or at least, those we consider beautiful according to superficial standards. Take a look at celebrities like  Kendall and Kylie Jenner. Women who are famous for good looks, sexuality, and materialism…but not much else.

A Beautiful Lie

Even Taylor Swift, a talented songwriter and singer, is losing fans because of her newfound focus on vengeance and victimization in her songs. But what ever happened to grace, values, or class? Is Hollywood and social media portraying an accurate depiction of beauty?

Ladies, we’ve been robbed. We live in a culture that says it’s wrong to be feminine or modest. We are told that beauty is in our looks and sexuality. Sin is outwardly celebrated while truth and morality is reviled.

Now that we understand the lies we’ve been fed about beauty, it’s time to uncover the truth.

The Beauty Within

Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel—rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. (1 Peter 3:3-4 NKJV)

For some reason, a lot of people read these verses and believe that it is wrong for women to wear beautiful clothes or jewelry. That’s not true at all. Peter tells us not to let our beauty be merely from outside things.

Biblical femininity goes way deeper than frilly dresses or lipstick. It’s about gentleness, strength, dignity, purity, modesty, kindness, and compassion. These attributes aren’t raved about in the latest pop song, but they are eternal qualities that never lose their beauty.

It’s fun to be a girl–to dress up and wear makeup and jewelry. But that is not where we should base our worth. You may not have the body type or complexion that pop-culture says is beautiful, but that’s not what God thinks.

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. (Psalm 139:13-14 NIV)

Jesus, the Creator of the universe, sees women as beautiful both inside and out. He created your body, spirit, and soul. He knows what you look like, your talents and weaknesses, and your personality.

And guess what? God is absolutely crazy about you.

A Beauty That Never Fades 

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. (Proverbs 31:30 NIV)

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Every culture has a different interpretation of what is beautiful on the outside. And with all of the trends on social media, it’s almost impossible to keep up.

But what happens when we grow older? Because we won’t stay twenty forever, and our physical features may stop being “on trend.” What happens when we ditch the charm and sensuality the world pressures us to mold ourselves into?

Close your eyes and think of a woman in your life that you love. What makes her beautiful? Is it her body shape or makeup? Or is it something deeper? Perhaps it’s her kindness, humor, or intellect. Maybe it’s her selflessness or inner strength.

Although we may not always see our outer beauty, a woman of faith and good character will always shine. No one can resist a kind smile or loving demeanor. The beauty that comes from our good deeds and acts of compassion toward humanity outweigh that of any runway model.

A woman who knows her worth in Jesus will exude a confidence that can never be shaken. It’s okay to be the way God created you to be. And it’s okay to look beautiful–inside and out.


Thanks for reading! Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below 🙂

Connect with me on Instagram @fearfullywonderfullyme

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